Collateral Damage: The Mental Health Effects of the Pandemic

ReferencePoint Press. Aug. 2021. 64p. Tr $31.95. ISBN 9781678200763.
Gr 8 Up–A brief overview of common struggles faced by Americans during the COVID-19 pandemic and their resultant mental health impacts. Chapters highlight challenges specific to certain groups, such as essential workers, older adults, health care workers, and teens, combining data with color photos, quotes, and anecdotes about people’s lived experiences. However, the text is dry, and the examples are not especially compelling. The pandemic’s disparate impacts across class and racial groups are mentioned, but not explored in depth. The book’s biggest weakness is inadequate discussion of coping skills, support, and treatment options, especially in connection to suicidality. While resources, including the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, are shared in the back matter, discussion of suicide in the text focuses on reasons that people have considered or completed suicide, without offering examples of people who have sought support or treatment for self-harm. Detailed back matter includes source notes, recommended resources, suggestions for further research, and an index.
VERDICT Not recommended. Some better options for research already exist, such as “The COVID-19 Pandemic” series (ReferencePoint), and additional titles are sure to be forthcoming.

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